July 25, 2014

Constitutional Challenge to Blacklist and LMO Suspension Regime

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 21 July 2014 our office filed an application to the Federal Court of Canada seeking leave for judicial review of two decisions made by the Minister of Employment and Social Development:

  1. The decision to publicise the names of businesses owned by Jeff and Miriam Staples on the Employment and Social Development website; and
  2. The decision to suspend three Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) submitted by Jeff and Miriam Staples, allegedly pursuant to section 30(1.43) of the IRPA.

The pleadings set out that the Staples were told that their applications were suspended because there were reasonable grounds to suspect that they had provided false, misleading or inaccurate information in their LMO applications. No further information was provided. According to the Minister’s website, publication on the Blacklist was to announce the names of Canadian employers who had submitted LMOs that had now been suspended.

The application now before the Federal Court presents the argument that the Minister’s decision to suspend the LMOs issued to the Staples is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights, and the rule of law.  It was further argued that the Minister breached the requirements of procedural fairness in rendering his decision and that due process has not been provided to the Staples, as the LMOs were suspended without notice and without providing an opportunity to respond. Finally, it was submitted that the Minister’s decision was unreasonable because there are not “objectively ascertainable facts” supporting the decision to suspend the LMOs.

The Minister now has 30 days to respond to the above arguments.

We have received numerous media requests but we will not be providing further comment as the matter is before the Federal Court.